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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, February 23, 2024

Brand who deserve your dollars: Girlfriend Collective

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Girlfriend Collective is an athletic and loungewear brand that uses recycled materials like polyester, fishing nets and used water bottles to create its pieces.The company was founded by a husband and wife duo, Ellie and Quang Dinh. They noticed that it was difficult to find activewear that was created in an environmentally sustainable way and also that many of the activewear brands used the same exact materials. So, Ellie and Quang began to search for alternative fabric choices, which is how they found a fabric mill in Asia that creates fabric from 100% recycled bottles and an SA8000-certified factory in Vietnam. The SA8000 certification means that the factory meets a standard developed by Social Accountability International to protect workers’ conditions and wages. Thus, once the sustainable fabric factory and the production factory were discovered, the husband and wife duo began the design process and Girlfriend Collective was born. 

The brand explains the environmental benefits that consumers are responsible for when they purchase from the brand: “By choosing Girlfriend, you help divert waste from landfills and support an ethical work environment for the people who make your clothes.” The brand truly follows up on this impact by producing impressive statistics. So far in 2021, Girlfriend Collective has been responsible for recycling 10,430,247 water bottles, preventing 10,127,816 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and saving 19,869,825 gallons of water. 

The brand is also eco-friendly in its packaging, dyeing process and ReGirlfriend program. Girlfriend Collective uses 100% recycled and recyclable materials in its packaging. With regard to the dyeing process, the brand uses eco-friendly dyes and cleans and cools the wastewater from the dyeing process before it is released. It works with a pavement facility to recycle the dye mud to be used in sidewalks and roads. The ReGirlfriend program addresses the issue that only 1% of clothing worldwide is recycled. This means that the other 99% gets sent to landfills, is burned or is downcycled. Even more alarming statistics from the website include that "The average American throws out 81 lbs of waste every year. Old clothes thrown into landfills can take up to 200 years to decompose. 40% [is] The percentage of increase in U.S. textile waste from 1999 to 2009." With these frightening facts, Girlfriend Collective concluded that there must be a better solution. So, to address this, Girlfriend Collective came up with the ReGirlfriend program where customers can send in their old Girlfriend products and, in return, the customer receives store credit. Girlfriend Collective then uses these returned materials to make new things instead of the garments ending up in a landfill. 

With quality active and loungewear and a responsible ethos, Girlfriend Collective is a great place to shop for your holiday gifts this year.